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Block-v-Indented Paragraphs

May 11th, 2021

There are two paragraphing styles that you need to be aware of – block and indented – and many new writers wonder about which they should use.

Block paragraphing has a blank line separating the last line of the previous paragraph and the first line of the new paragraph. Each paragraph is a block of text on the page, with white space all around it. The first line of each paragraph is left-justified which means it is not indented. This blog uses block paragraphs!

Indented paragraphing does not have a blank line between each paragraph. Instead, you start the first line of each paragraph about five or six spaces from the left hand margin of your page.  Read the rest of this entry »




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Student Of The Year 2021

February 22nd, 2021

It’s great that the winners of this year’s competition have now been announced and their stories are available to read on our website.

First the overall winner, Theresa Gooda – what diverse writing skills! She writes articles, short stories, poems and is also a ghost writer. (We’ll be hearing more about this from Theresa in her guest post next week.) She’s studied both our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course and our Art of Writing Poetry Course and she’s putting  the skills she’s learned in each to good use.

Next for the runners-up. Simon Miller has done something that many people only dream of – he’s broken into writing for radio, podcasts and TV. Humour is a notoriously difficult concept to sell but he seems to be going from strength to strength. Read the rest of this entry »




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Hay Player!

August 30th, 2020

First, thanks to Jacqueline for last week’s post. Many people think of ‘creative writing’ as being exclusively fiction. But as she points out, writing non-fiction should be every bit as creative if you are to engage and entertain your readers.

As we’re still waiting for our next Writers Bureau competition to open for entries, I thought I’d highlight one or two other competitions that are taking place at the moment – hopefully providing something for everyone.

First up we have the New Voices Competition, which is looking for the first page of a novel and a one-page synopsis. This is for first-time writers only and the prize is a Start Up mentoring package. The entry fee is £10 and the closing date is 14th September; so no procrastinating. Full details are at www.adventuresinfiction.co.uk Read the rest of this entry »




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Christmas Ghost Story

July 24th, 2020

First, thanks to Colin for last week’s post. I loved the way he described his writing  journey. Some writers prefer to work in one genre only – and they seem to know instinctively what that is. Others, like Colin, want to try their hand at a variety of different genres and styles, coming back to what interests them when they feel it’s the right time and trying out new things when they are ready for a change. At the end of the day, it’s what makes you, as a writer, happy and provides the most fulfilment.

I know that some of you who are on our Creative Writing Course struggle to get copies of magazines that you can use to do your research – this has been particularly difficult during lockdown or if you are still self-isolating. Also, I’m not sure I’d want to hang about shops and supermarkets browsing their stocks of magazines (funny looks for picking up and putting back?) wearing a mask. Also, our overseas students sometimes ask where they can source magazines if there’s nothing available in their local shops. Read the rest of this entry »




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In Times Like These…

June 26th, 2020

First, thanks to Phil for last week’s post. Personally, I found it fascinating and I think he’s absolutely right when he says: “With memoir you need to dig deep and build your story on a foundation of truth and openness”. That is exactly what you have to do if those about whom you are writing as part of your own history are still alive. You don’t want to hurt people but you have to be true to yourself.

If this post has whetted your appetite for writing your own memoir, then we have just the course for you. It’s very flexible and allows you to have feedback on your personal writing rather than having to do set assignments. But if you are already working on a memoir, then you might want to consider submitting it to the same competition that Phil entered – the Fish Publishing Short Memoir Competition. It’s currently closed but should be opening for the next round shortly; so keep checking their website. Read the rest of this entry »




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